Do your allergies act up as soon as you set foot outside? Use these simple tips to reduce exposure to pollens, molds, and other allergens and enjoy the outdoors again.
Friendly Flora for Allergies
It’s rough when the plants you love don’t love you back. Here's how to make your time in the yard more pleasant:
- Choose the right plants. Some plants don't release pollen that triggers allergies. Allergy-friendly plants include irises, lilies, geraniums, and daisies. Steer clear of highly allergenic plants like timothy grass and willow trees.
- Skip the lawn mowing. Cutting grass kicks up loads of allergens -- grass pollen and mold. Hiring someone to mow the lawn, or getting a family member to do it, will give you a lot of relief.
- Wear a mask. Cheap, disposable paper masks are available everywhere from pharmacies to lawn and garden centers. They'll keep pollens and mold out of your airways.
Timing Activities for Allergies
Choose your outdoor activities based on the time of day -- and year -- when your allergies are most active.
- Go outside when pollen counts are low. In general, the early morning and late evening are best. Pollen counts are higher in the middle of the day.
- Avoid dry, breezy days. That's when pollen counts tend to be highest. They're lower on cool, damp days.
- Watch the calendar. Stay inside more when the pollens or molds that trigger your allergies are most common. For instance, grass pollen season lasts only a month or so in the late spring or early summer. Stay inside as much as you can that month, and your symptoms should cause less trouble.
Allergy Apparel: What to Wear
Whether you’re gardening, playing sports, or just going for a walk outdoors, dress to deflect allergies.
- Wear long-sleeves and pants. They can be light-weight and comfortable. Just make sure you're covered, so your bare skin isn't exposed to allergens.
- Wear sunglasses. They'll keep allergens out of your eyes.
After Exposure to Allergens
You can’t prevent all exposure to allergens when you’re outdoors. So to prevent an allergy flare-up, it's important to clean up as soon as you come in.
- Change clothing. If you've been outside gardening or playing sports, your clothes will be coated in allergens. Take it all off, and don't put it on again until it's been washed.
- Shower. Changing clothes isn't enough. You need to get the allergens off your skin and out of your hair as quickly as possible.